Australia's most successful rock band, silverchair, ended months of music industry speculation today by finally announcing their new overseas recording deal.
Atlantic RecordsAtlantic RecordsIn North and South America the Newcastle based trio will sign directly to the legendary Atlantic label. A pioneer of rhythm and blues music in the 1960's with artists like Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin the company also has a longstanding pedigree as a great rock label having been home to groups like the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and, more recently, Stone Temple Pilots and Kid Rock.
Val Azzoli, Co-Chairman/Co-CEO of The Atlantic Group said: "Since making their debut six years ago, silverchair has continued to grow and mature, evolving into one of the most creative, accomplished, and dynamic rock bands around today. All of us at Atlantic eagerly look forward to welcoming silverchair into our label family and launching what is sure to be one of the year's most exciting new albums."
"It will be really good for us to have a direct link with our American record company for the first time", said the group's drummer, Ben Gillies. "We think Atlantic will give us the kind of support which we need to keep growing as a band. Plus it means we get to be on the same label as Led Zeppelin so that's got to be a good thing!"
Eleven MusicIn Australia, New Zealand, and South East Asia it has already been announced that silverchair will partner with a new boutique imprint called "Eleven: a music company" which has been established by their manager, John Watson. Eleven will be distributed throughout the Pacific rim by EMI. As part of this groundbreaking deal silverchair will retain ownership of all their musical copyrights.
"I've got lots of ideas about new music and new things we can do as a band and these new deals will give us the flexibility and freedom we need to be able to do things a bit differently in the future.", said silverchair frontman Daniel Johns. "We've been rehearsing just about every day for the last month working on some new songs. I'm really looking forward to recording them and putting out an album on our new labels. It'll be like a whole new chapter for us. "
Label partners for Europe and Japan will not be finalised until after the band records their next album.
silverchair parted ways with their former record company, Sony Music Australia two months ago after fulfilling a three album worldwide contract. During their six years with Sony's murmur and Epic labels the band enjoyed more top 10 hits in Australia than any other local artist and sold six million albums globally.
silverchair will record their next album in 2001. The trio will unveil some of their new songs for the first time when they headline the Falls Festival in Australia on New Years Eve. They will then go on to the biggest show of their career in January when they travel to South America to perform to 250,000 people at Rock In Rio with Red Hot Chili Peppers.
EMI Music Australia has landed the rights to a brand new independent label called Eleven: a music company. The company's first signings are ARIA Award winning electronic musician, Paul Mac, and multi-million selling Newcastle rock trio, silverchair.
Eleven: a music company will be operated by label President, John Watson, and General Manager, Melissa Chenery. The pair have already had considerable record company experience having both worked in A&R and marketing at Sony Music between 1990 and 1995 before leaving to manage silverchair.
EMI's Managing Director Tony Harlow said, "it has been a successful part of our strategy to embrace a wide variety of A&R sources, and to work with the most creative talent in the industry. This fits our concept of ensuring that EMI/Virgin stay close to the musical community at all times. I foresee Eleven playing a crucial part in our further developments. John and Melissa bring a full service approach - from A&R to management, marketing to promotion. They bring great experience in the business. They bring great music - some new, some established. And they bring the ability to go one louder - something we all share a vision on."
Eleven's first album release will be by noted remixer and Itch-E & Scratch-E member, Paul Mac who is also a client of John Watson Management. The highly anticipated disc, which features several very prominent Australian singers, is slated for release early in 2001. Mac recently previewed material from the album in an acclaimed performance at the Pacific Circle Music conference.
The company's head of A&R, Simon Moor said, "it was exciting for me to see the A&R potential of the label being developed from the start. The new project from Paul Mac has already caught the imagination of those who have heard it including mine."
As a result of the Eleven/EMI deal future silverchair recordings will also be released and marketed by these labels in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. The band will sign separate new recording contracts with another company for other overseas territories. Details of this other new deal will be announced within the next two weeks.
The unique arrangement between Eleven and EMI sees silverchair forsaking the opportunity for windfall signing bonuses in exchange for longer term benefits such as ownership of their copyrights and complete control over the creation and marketing of their music.
The group has sold more than six million albums over the last five years, enjoying more top 20 singles during the 1990's than any other Australian artist. They are currently rehearsing material for their next album which will be recorded in 2001.
"We aren't looking to build any kind of empire with Eleven", explains silverchair's manager and Eleven's President, John Watson. "We simply want to develop a very focused, boutique operation which can be a vehicle for long term, global career development of Australian artists. Everything you need to know about our approach is contained in the label's name. Like the amplifier in the movie 'Spinal Tap' we don't just want to go to 'ten', we want to go to 'eleven'. We believe EMI really shares this vision and we're looking forward to working with Tony and his team over the years ahead."
"We want to provide a greater level of career support for artists than is usual at bigger companies these days", explains the label's General Manager, Melissa Chenery. "We want to do all of the extra things that can be done to help our artists' music reach the biggest possible audience. Plus, it's "a music company" - we want to release innovative and exciting new music by talented artists like silverchair and Paul Mac who want to keep developing long term careers."
In addition to silverchair and Paul Mac, it is envisaged that the boutique label will eventually sign approximately three other artists for release through EMI/Virgin.
In keeping with the company's pledge to do things a little differently Eleven's first release will actually be an online EP by a duo called "I Can't Believe It's Not Rock" - an "accidental" pairing of Paul Mac and silverchair's Daniel Johns. "I Can't Believe It's Not Rock" will feature five experimental home recordings by Mac and Johns which will be available primarily via the internet. The EP will be available online from December 1. More details about this release will be announced shortly.
Following last week's announcement that silverchair have split with their former label, murmur/Sony, it was revealed today that the multinational record company is planning to release a compilation album of existing silverchair recordings within weeks.
According to Australia's Triple J radio network a spokesman for Sony Music has confirmed that the company is currently preparing "... a double CD featuring all of the band's singles plus some rare B sides".
Title, tracklisting, and release dates are all still unannounced but according to the Triple J report the compilation album has been put together entirely by Sony Music and none of the members of silverchair have been involved in it.
silverchair's manager John Watson had no comment to make regarding the album. However he did confirm to chairpage that under silverchair's former recording contract, Sony is legally entitled to repackage the band's existing recordings.
The report by Craig Kamber on Triple J noted that it is very common in the music industry for record companies to have the right to release so called "Best Of" albums once a recording contract has run its course.
Kamber also said that he felt silverchair's best work would probably happen "... over the next four or five years". He noted that he had recently had a conversation with the band's frontman, Daniel Johns at "a social function" and that the singer seemed to be "in great spirits" and "unbelievably focussed and positive".
In a statement issued to chairpage last week Daniel revealed that he and his bandmates will record a new album next year. He also revealed that the band is currently busy rehearsing for the biggest gig of their career to date - an appearance in front of 250,000 people at Rock In Rio in January.
"I've been writing lots of new songs and I'm really pleased with how they're coming together", said Daniel Johns. "Ben, Chris and I are looking forward to playing in Rio and to making more music together."
An announcement regarding which label has scored the highly prized right to release these future silverchair recordings is expected within the next four weeks.
silverchair has parted ways with their record company, Sony Music. The band's manager, John Watson, confirmed today that the Newcastle trio's contract with the multinational corporation had expired and the band would not be renewing it.
"silverchair has enjoyed a very successful relationship with Sony Music over the last six years", said Watson, "but that relationship has now run it's course. The company was unable to give the band the kind of future controls over their music which other labels are offering so it was simply time to move on. silverchair and myself are very excited about the great new opportunities which are being presented to the band."
During their time with Sony Music's murmur and Epic labels silverchair have sold almost six million albums globally. They have enjoyed more top ten hits in Australia during the last decade than any other local act.
The band is currently writing and rehearsing in Newcastle after taking a break for most of this year. In January they will play the biggest show of their career to date when they appear in front of over 250,000 people at Rock In Rio alongside Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The group's singer/guitarist, Daniel Johns, confirmed that silverchair will record a new album in 2001. "I've been writing lots of new songs and I'm really pleased with how they're coming together", he said. "Ben, Chris and I are looking forward to playing in Rio and to making more music together."
It has not yet been revealed which record company has landed the right to release future silverchair recordings. However, an announcement will definitely be made within the next four weeks.
The 'chair have cleaned up in Drum Media readers poll, the UK's tastemaker magazine Rocksound and Canada's Chart magazine.
Check out these results.
No.1 Favourite Australian Album of 1999
No.2 Favourite Australian Artist of 1999
No.1 Favourite Band/Act in the Whole Wide World
No.3 Gig of the Year (silverchair live at the Hordern)
Daniel was also voted Sex Symbol of the Year
No.3 International Band behind Korn and Foo Fighters but polling ahead of great acts like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Marilyn Manson, Rage, Metallica and the Offspring.
No.3 Best International Album (behind Slipknot and Red Hot Chili Peppers)
No.1 Best International Album of 1999
No.12 Best Song of 1999 Ana's Song
silverchair's Anthem For The Year 2000 won the 1999 MTV Video Music Award for best Australian video. The Anthem video was directed by Gavin Bowden and was filmed in Sydney with a huge cast of 'chair fans as extras. It's the second MTV award for silverchair: the Freak video won in 1997.
Chairpage has won an award for "Most Popular Australian Artist Site".
The ONYA award was presented to chairpage at the annual Australian Online Music Awards, this year held at "The Basement" in Sydney.
This award would not have been possible without the votes and support of you the silverchair fans. Thank you to everyone who voted for us. We very much appreciate your support.
Silverchair singer/guitarist Daniel Johns has been completely cleared of all allegations of harassment which had been brought against him in a Newcastle Court case.
A woman calling herself "Emily Spencer" had initiated court proceedings in which she claimed Johns had threatened and harassed her.
Subsequent media reports revealed that the woman's real name was actually Jodie Ann Marie Barnes.
Today Ms Barnes unequivocally withdrew her allegations in Newcastle Local Court. Her legal representative, Mr Ron Vercoe, said that the allegations were "totally untrue" and "unsubstantiated." On behalf of Ms Barnes, Mr Vercoe apologised to the Court and to Mr Johns for the "trauma" which this case had caused him and his family.
Mr Vercoe said that it was "… the strangest case he had seen in four decades…" and added that he could not understand how the matter had been allowed to progress this far. He said that this area of the law could benefit from reforms to prevent people from bringing such "fallacious and petty claims" against innocent parties.
As Ms Barnes' claims were completely untrue, the withdrawal was not opposed.
A spokesman for Daniel Johns pointed out that these groundless charges had received widespread media coverage including a front page story in Johns' home town newspaper. "I hope that the media covers the truth of this matter as prominently as they covered the lies," he said.
Daniel Johns said: "These completely false charges and the sensationalised media coverage which they have received in some places have been very upsetting for myself and my family. I'm glad the truth has finally come out."
silverchair continue to be Australia's favourite band by a big margin, according to the results of the latest annual readers poll conducted by Rolling Stone magazine.
The band topped these categories:
* Artist of the Year
* Best album
* Best male performer (Daniel Johns)
* Best band
* Best single: 1. Freak 2. Cemetery
* Best songwriter (Daniel Johns)
* Comeback of the Year
* Best album cover (Freak Show)
* Best video (Freak)
In addition, Nick Launay (Freak Show) won best producer and silverchair were runners up in three other categories, including best hard rock band and best indie rock band.
"I don't know about silverchair being in the "best comeback" category," said chairpage's Canberra correspondent Anthony Calvert. "Were they ever really gone? I reckon "best follow-up" would be more appropriate."
Announcement of the awards appeared in Rolling Stone Australia's April issue.
The members of silverchair are still enjoying their extended break, but as summer moves into autumn in Australia, there is news to report!
The band regrouped in February to record a new song for the upcoming Godzilla soundtrack, and lent their name and a song to help keep the playing field level for Australian artists.
First to learn about the new song (called Untitled) were members of the Llama Appreciation Society, who recently received issue No. 9 of the LAS newsletter. The mailing also included an exclusive colour photo card with pictures from the Summer Freak Show tour by the ARIA-award winning photographer and art director Kevin Wilkins.
LAS members also learned what the band members have been up to over the break. Chris Joannou visited Thailand for two weeks while Ben Gillies took a holiday in North Queensland. Daniel's been laying low at home, hanging with his mates, playing with Sweep, cooking for himself a lot, and (of course) watching tele -- the U.S. cartoon South Park and the Aussie soap Neighbours, in particular. Ben and Chris also saw U2's Popmart tour as it stopped in Sydney.
The newsletter includes exclusive photos from the wild Summer Freak Show finale in Perth, Chris catching rays in Thailand, and Ben showing his style in the kitchen. Only LAS members get the newsletter, and if you're not a member, check out the LAS web page to find out how to join.